PUBLIC are expected to dig deeper into their own pockets when the new import duty of 20 cent per kilogram of rice and a good tax of five percent added as of September 1.
At the moment the price of 20kg white rice varies from shop to shop at the minimum price of $155 while the minimum price of 10kg rice is $82.
If the new import duty on white rice comes into effect on September 1, it means the new import duty for 20kg will be $4 and the goods tax will be $7.75 which is total up to $11.75.
This means the new price of 20kg white rice our main staple food will increase to $166.75 while 10kg will increase to $93.75.
If the shop owner don’t control the price with their mark-up prices the price will be skyrocketing.
For rural villages the price will even go higher.
The Ministry of Finance and Treasury in a letter issued on 22 August advice that the cabinet during its meeting held on 22 July 2019 has approved the proposal to implement a new tax on white rice commencing 1st of September.
This will introduce a levy of $0.20 per kg as import duty and goods tax of 5 percent.
This policy is part of the ongoing fiscal measures to help target better health outcomes in the country, particularly aimed at reducing the prevalence of non-communicable diseases which are evidently increasing as should by our national records.
While it is good for our health the price of rice, a staple part of the diet in the country will increase dramatically.
This will affect all communities as we know people are struggling to meet costs to feed their family.